|On the cusp of his return, Musharraf calls Israel a fait accompli|
Sunday, January 8, 2012
Return of Pervez Musharraf
It is true that the news is fast spreading on all outlets that the former Chief of Army Staff, and former President of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf is to return to Pakistan, possibly before the end of January.
There are differing views to his return, some see it positively, while others see it as a bane for Pakistan. Some hail him as the proper leader of Pakistan in recent times, on the other hand there have been some who cuss him for the situation Pakistan is in today. Some sing the same songs as Musharraf do of him bringing prosperity and growth, while others shun him for being too moderate on matters pertaining religion, fanning more religious sentiments within Pakistanis. However, there would be few who doubt that like every dictator, he had his own agenda when in power which resulted in gain or loss for the country, subject to people's opinions and judgement.
The news of his return comes at a time when Pakistan is in the most precarious situation that it has ever been. Not even when East Pakistan acceded to form Bangladesh did the nation found itself in trouble as much as it does now, especially considering the nation was bemoaning the loss of an arm along with the shameful surrender of 90,000 soldiers to Pakistan's arch-rivals – India. Historians, analysts, politicians, and activists all have unanimously agreed that never has befallen a tower of predicaments on Pakistan that we find in ourselves in the last 4 years of this government. The country suddenly finds itself as one of the most corrupt, poorest and backward countries in the world, when presumably the previous regime (of Musharraf) had left the country in good stead. The country finds itself, rather quickly, to be easily gone back in time by at least 40 years, where there is no electricity, no gas supply, acute water shortage, no production and no investment in the country. It seems as if everything in Pakistan hasn't come to a standstill, but instead is in a free-fall state.
Although it won't be entirely wrong to put the blame on the present government for its incompetency and failure. But the topic for us is the return of Musharraf, back to a country which is licking its wounds, inflicted by the man. And the news has now had the nation licking its lips in anticipation for his return, a nation that now has strongly formed an opinion against the man.
He is to address the nation from his second home – Dubai – where he will officially announce his day of arrival to Pakistan. According to many sources, he is expected to land on 29th January. However, many like us have an opinion if it has to be fresh faces that will enter into politics, then it better not be Pervez Musharraf. Not that we are too keen to have Zardari and his thugs in power either, nor the ever-confused (perhaps equally dangerous) Sharif Brothers.
Pervez Musharraf whenever comes to give an interview he is always singing songs about what he did in his power and expects people first to recall all those glory days of the country and furthers his point by stating that if NRO was a mistake then that shouldn't be enough to undo the hard-work he had put in Pakistan. Perhaps he fails to understand that indeed that one mistake of his has brought Pakistan close to default, on the brink of collapse.
NRO saw the influx of politicians (read: murderers and robbers) who had in earlier governments been in the background to carry out their activities, but with the NRO they could do it right in front of us, with every one knowing it and one of them went as far as terming corruption as their political right. This was your contribution to Pakistan, Mr Musharraf. Your one mistake was enough to sink the hearts of millions who had any whiff of hope from you.
You talk about being strong enough and not taking diktat from any foreign force, but you will have to admit now that foreign intervention in your time had increased to such a level that you had to buckle your knees to give way to a crook of the century – Asif Ali Zardari. The nation has seen you revert back on your words when you had to open doors for Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif, for whom you once said that you would never let them return to Pakistan. They did and that too in front of your own very eyes.
It is because of you that Pakistan is in such a situation and your mistake alone, for we don't blame the incompetent at all because we know they are of no good to anyone, let alone Pakistan. You always said Sab se pehle Pakistan (First Pakistan), but when you brokered a deal with Late Benazir Bhutto, it was evident to the entire nation that you have become a power-crazed politician, blinded by your own objectives while Pakistan will be handled later. At that stage Pakistan was second for you, Mr Musharraf.
No matter what you say in your defense but people are sensible and well-informed now (courtesy your invention – free media) about Pakistan to realise that you ran from the country when you felt the noose tightening around you. You found solace in a foreign country, with questionable assets under your possession while you left Pakistan and Pakistanis on their own risk and then blabber those oft-repeated words of yours Sab se pehle Pakistan (First Pakistan) from the comforts you found in your second home(s).
Upon his return, it may possibly open a Pandora's box for him while there are talks already that he may be taken into custody immediately by Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) as he's been charged for the murder of Akbar Khan Bugti and Benazir Bhutto. However, as always one may be quite sure like he himself is that he would be acquitted from all charges.
What has gone by over the years, the Pakistani nation has endured it with, literally, their lives and those with better opportunity opted to leave Pakistan altogether. What is to come now, is a big question mark, especially if he is back into power where he is already favouring a dialogue with Israel. The possibility of him negotiating with Israel are very high as according to highly placed sources, during his reign he did had one meeting with the then-Israeli Premier Ariel Sharon. In fact, this is what he had to say about moving closer to Israel, while giving an interview to an Israeli daily Ha'aretz:
“But I believe in realism and in assessing ground realities. I think it's necessary to understand the changing environment, analyse it – and respond. A lot has happened since '48, and one has to adjust. Policies are made, yes, but when the environment changes, policies should change. Policies should not remain constant.”
It is a case of utter obliviousness on the part of former President as he fails to realise the bone of contention between Pakistan and countries like India and Israel, with whom he is prepared to compromise to the extent where he may become a hero in those countries, while being regarded as a villain in his own. Perhaps he has little dignity and an even lesser religious acumen to comprehend that Palestine and Kashmir homes our brothers and sisters for whom once we fought against the Israelis, back in 1967 and against India.
It all boils down to religion Mr Musharraf and for a secular-minded and moderate-loving person like you and your supporters, it may be a good idea to shake hands with Israel, but the truth of the matter is this: you and your supporters are a herd of cowards who can't stand up against Falsehood. You and your supporters are so meek against the wrong who live in a state of false optimism that having relationship with Israel will allow Pakistan's nuclear programme to be safe - which is under constant threat, not from Al-Qaeda or Taliban but from the same Israel you want to befriend with. You want to protect yourself also from the State of Israel, who has a history of bringing down wrath on countries that have strong opinions against her, like Lebanon and Pakistan, while with other countries it has opted to maintain normal to good relationships that recognise Israel and pose no threat to it, like Turkey, Egypt and Jordan.
It is also unclear from Musharraf's magnanimous statement in favour of Israel whether he understands that accepting Israel and having better relationship with that illegal country will account for a justification for actions Israel takes against the real natives of that land – the Palestinians. Mr Musharraf is kneeling down, and he better be alone in that.
But we are not coward and neither do we forgive or forget. Having bilateral relationship with Israel in order to counter India, is a point out of question for well over 80% of Pakistanis. And now with the story of your return doing rounds, the Pakistanis are repeating the same words under their squeaking breaths as you do and did when stepping down: Pakistan ka khuda hi hafiz hai (Allah is then the only Guardian of Pakistan), not with a tinge of sarcasm as you do but with a genuine apprehension and fear of worse to come.